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Professor Emeritus Christie Davies (1941-2017)

Professor Emeritus Christie Davies

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Professor Emeritus Christie Davies after a short illness.

Professor Davies was one of the early members of Reading’s Department of Sociology that was founded in 1964 by Stanislav Andreski. Christie belonged to that brilliant generation of intellectuals who brought about a renaissance in British political and moral thought in the 1980s and 1990s.

A  Wrenbury scholar in political economy at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he sparkled as an actor in the Cambridge Footlights, acting alongside Germaine Greer and the Python-to-be Eric Idle. Christie graduated in 1967 with a double first.

He was the funniest man on campus but also the wisest. A gifted and devoted teacher, always having time to talk to students and colleagues in offices and corridors anywhere, he received international recognition for his original and deep understanding of ethnic humour.

A radical advocate of intellectual freedom and personal responsibility, Christie was a Welsh eccentric teetotaller who loved England. He would later turn his hand to writing a series of humorous, magical science fiction stories for children called ‘Dewi the Dragon’.

Actively involved in the think-tank, the Social Affairs Unit, he campaigned against Marxist domination of the social sciences and the British political establishment. An author of over 20 books and innumerable articles, his work was translated into many languages, including Japanese, Polish and Czech. An art lover, Christie was a prolific writer of reviews of art exhibitions in Standpoint.

After his retirement in 2002, he continued to write and give lectures and conference papers all around the world, and he had come back from one such successful visit to the USA just before his death.

He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him, studied with him, worked with him and talked with him - and saw him cycling across campus.

Dr. Athena Leoussi, Modern Languages and European Studies

Dr. Dawn Clarke, Politics & International Relations

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